"A retelling of Beauty and the Beast"
ailing brother, lives with her impoverished family near the
end of the human world and the start of the fairy realm.
She finds happiness singing while working in the field and
playing games with her brother. The six female siblings
have little hope for marriage because there is no money for
However, everything changes when a bear arrives at
their hovel. The bear carries a message from Prince Alain
of Summerwood stating he wishes to marry Camille and if his
proposal is accepted he will pay a bride price that will
leave her family in modest luxury. Camille and her brother
say no, but the rest of her kin accept. Camille gives in
when she realizes her brother can obtain needed medicine.
Camille rides the bear through Springwood to Winterwood
to Autumnwood until she finally reaches her destination of
Summerwood. There she meets Prince Alain who wears a
mask. Camille and Alain begin to fall in love, but
she tries to lift the curse that is destroying him without
realizing the consequences of her actions. Still, she
willingly will go into hell if need be to rescue her
ONCE UPON A WINTER'S NIGHT is a superb adult fairy tale
that children of all ages will enjoy. The story line is
charming and magical as it takes readers on quite a ride in
the realm of Fairy. Camille is a great female protagonist
and the melancholy Alain, who finds brief respites with his
beloved, is an enigmatic hero. Dennis McKiernan escorts
fantasy lovers into an enchanted place that deserves more
tales, perhaps those starring Alain's siblings and even a
prequel starring his parents.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 22, 2001